Students at IS 204, The Magnet School For Living Green In A Global Society, would like to create an outdoor learning garden for student use in the rear of our building. Due to the heavily shaded location of the garden outside our building, we are limited in what we can grow. As an alternative to a traditional garden, our Green Team decided to create a "Wildlife Habitat." Students began to research urban wildlife, and found the many advantages of inviting species into your garden! They also learned the importance of providing hospitable environments for bats, birds, butterflies and insects as they are losing habitats in urban areas.
The goal is to create an garden filled with shade-loving, native species. Students will research what plants will tolerate less sun and attract pollinators to the garden. They will create an environment suitable for a variety of urban wildlife, focusing primarily on birds, bats, butterflies and other insects. There will also be an area dedicated to decomposers and composting. In order to ensure that maximum learning takes place in the garden no matter who is visiting, informational signs will be posted throughout.
Upon the completion of initial project stages, we hope to be able to schedule classes to work outside in the garden. This includes science and math classes, where students will investigate actual garden elements, as well as language arts classes, where students may sit and read or write. After becoming a certified garden habitat, we would like to be able to invite parents and community members to workshops where students educate others on the advantages of and "how to" of becoming an urban wildlife habitat.
The first step is to order furniture in order to receive shipment before the weather warms up. At the same time, students and support staff conduct research, including native flora and fauna. Once we create a garden map for plants, we can begin to identify locations for developing "niches" for birds, ladybugs, bats etc. In preparation for planting days, students will weed and prepare the garden area and put together birdhouses/bathouses and other habitats. Once chance of frost pasts, students and staff will visit a local nursury to purchase plants. We will have a weekend work day to get the plants in the ground. Once the plants are in place, students will continue to develop signage and maintain the garden. At this point, we will begin the necessary steps to becoming a certified schoolyard habitat.
why we're doing it
IS 204 is proud to be “The Magnet School for Living Green In A Global Society.” We are in the development process of new, interdisciplinary units that incorporate the magnet theme into our existing curriculum. Our students focus on energy conservation, reducing consumption and sustainability. As students expand their knowledge about energy conservation, they will reduce the use of energy in their daily lives and study alternative, greener energy resources. Greater awareness of consumption issues will motivate students to rely less on acquiring consumer goods and more on recycling or reusing materials that they already have. Our goal is to encourage students to understand these sustainability issues and how their actions directly impact the biodiversity of our planet.
According to research collected by the National Wildlife Federation, “outdoor education and play time helps students become high-performance learners with skill sets that will be with them throughout their lives. And, second, outdoor education and play time help students perform measurably better on standardized tests.” (www.nwf.org) Outdoor education appeals to a variety of intelligences, improves student behavior and discipline in the classroom, allows for greater real-life application and utilization of skills, and has been shown to improve standardized test scores in basic skills, reading, science and math. Studies show that it is particularly effective at helping under-resourced, low-income students. (www.nwf.org) Unfortunately, living in a city, students at IS 204 have limited access to green spaces and are not often provided with opportunities to explore those that are available.
With this information in mind, and knowing that experiential learning is much more powerful than anything a child can learn from a book, we would like to create an outdoor learning garden for our students in the rear of our building. Due to the heavily shaded location of the garden outside our building, we are limited in what we can grow. As an alternative to a traditional garden, our Green Team decided to create a "Wildlife Habitat." Students began to research urban wildlife, and found the many advantages of inviting species into your garden! They also learned the importance of providing hospitable environments for bats, birds, butterflies and insects as they are losing habitats in urban areas.
$500 resin storage shed for tools for use in garden (Home Depot Suncast Extra Large Vertical Storage Shed
Model # BMS6500 Internet # 202520602)
$100 outdoor sink station (No-crank Outdoor Sink Station www.no-crank.com)
$1200 combination bench/work table (6) (Home Depot Lifetime Convertible Patio Bench
Model # 60054 Internet # 202733910)
$40 birdhouse kits (5) (thebirdhousedepot.com)
$25 bat house kit (Sonbird Essentials @ amazon.com)
$500 native plants (local nursuries details TBD)
$150 brick garden pavers/landscape material (Home Depot)
$100 outdoor weatherproof signs (Staples)
$40 butterfly habitat/feeders (2) (www.bestnest.com)
$35 clipboards for outdoor notetaking (The Dollar Tree)
|ioby Platform Fee||$35|
|ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%)||$135|
|3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%)||$81|
|TOTAL TO RAISE =||$2,940|
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